When getting for rhinoplasty , your surgeon might have recommended that you try to eat as healthy as possible, to help minimize the risk for complications and to help your body heal more quickly after the surgery is over. While you don’t have to make major changes to your diet before or after rhinoplasty, being cautious and avoiding certain foods or making sure that you get enough of certain nutrients in your diet can help with the recovery process.
The pre-operative period (2 to 4 weeks prior to surgery) is a great time to ensure you are achieving your needs for a healthy lifestyle while also preparing for the upcoming stress of surgery. Below are a few nutrients that are vital during this time period.
Taking a well balanced multi-vitamin starting three weeks before surgery can help with wound healing. You should have the optimal levels of vitamins before surgery, but not too much of one specific Vitamin, except Vitamin C. Large amounts of Vitamin C have shown in studies to help with wound healing. However, you must be careful with Vitamin E. Large amounts of Vitamin E (more than 400 mg per day) can increase bruising and bleeding .
As the second largest component of the body, protein is required for tissue building and repair. Our organs, hormones, red blood cells, immune system, and enzymes are all comprised mainly of protein. It is imperative that you consume a sufficient amount to meet your daily needs and best prepare your body for rhinoplasty and post-op tissue repair.
• Green tea is touted as an antioxidant powerhouse, but this popular brew can also interact negatively with anesthesia, increase blood pressure, and cause accelerated heart rates. Stop drinking green tea at least 10 days before rhinoplasty, and be sure to ask your doctor when it’s safe to ingest again.
• Fruits and vegetables are typically a staple in a healthy, well-balanced diet, but not when you’re preparing for surgery. During the 24 hours before surgery, we tell my patients to avoid foods that are high in fiber. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains take longer to digest, and it is important to have as little food as possible in your system before surgery begins.
You might be a bit hungry after you get home from surgery, or even right after the anesthesia or sedative wears off. Soft foods that are somewhat mild or bland are usually ideal right after surgery. Reach for the yogurt, oatmeal or not-to-hot soup. Depending on how nauseated you feel, you may want to stick with clear liquids right after surgery, just in case eating makes you throw up. Continue with the diet of soft foods for a few days after surgery, or until you feel well enough to add different textures to your diet.
The goal of proper post-surgery nutrition is to promote quick healing and recovery with the assistance of a well-supported immune system, while reducing pain, inflammation, and swelling. Pre-op supplement regimens (as listed above or directed by your Doctor or Nutritionist) may be resumed, while sugar, allergenic foods, caffeine, and alcohol should continue to be avoided. In addition, the below items can be added to improve recovery outcomes.
Protein provides your body with the amino acids involved in wound repair and tissue regeneration. The best sources are protein are from lean meats, poultry, eggs, fish, dairy products, beans, lentils, nuts, and soy products.
Fat provides your body with energy and supports the immune response. Stick to healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado and nuts.
Although you want to stick to soft-ish foods for a few days after rhinoplasty, it’s important to make sure you get a decent amount of fiber in your diet during those first few days. Constipation is fairly common after the surgery, due to a combination of the medications prescribed, not moving about as much as you usually do, and eating a limited diet.
While you probably want to continue to take an medicines prescribed by your surgeon and should continue to limit physical activity, you can help move things along by adding some fiber to your diet. Soft fruits, such as peaches and berries, are good sources of fiber, as is oatmeal, very well cooked vegetables such as carrots, and whole grain breads.
Many surgeons recommend including certain anti-inflammatory foods in your recovery diet. These foods contain ingredients that can help prevent excessive swelling and bruising. To get these great benefits, be sure to include plenty of leafy greens, apples, citrus fruits, and pineapple in your diet. Capers and red onions are also known to be anti-inflammatory.
The recovery period is not a time to skimp on water! As with before surgery, it’s recommended that you drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. You may need to drink more if you are taking certain medications. Your surgeon will advise you if this is the case.
One surprising healing aid that doctors often recommend is the consumption of pineapple in the days leading up to and following surgery. Pineapple contains bromelain, which is a powerful enzyme that has many surprising and helpful properties. Bromelain speeds healing by reducing inflammation. It minimizes the occurrence of bruising , which is particularly beneficial for recovery from rhinoplasty surgery. Bromelain also serves as a digestive aid by easing nausea, and it even fights congestion. Before you begin eating pineapple in preparation for surgery, check with your doctor. Consuming this beneficial fruit is considered safe in almost all circumstances, but you will want to be certain that your doctor agrees that it is right for you. Your doctor can also suggest the amount that you should eat to ensure the best outcome.
In addition to pineapple celery juice has also been known to significantly reduce bruising and swelling after rhinoplasty.